It has been over three decades since Indonesia won the Sudirman Cup, for the first and only time. Given the unique place the trophy holds in Indonesian hearts – it was instituted in honour of Indonesian badminton visionary Dick Sudirman, founder of PBSI and its President for 22 years – reclaiming the trophy is foremost on the minds of the team.
For the Minions – Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo – who have won most of the World Tour events multiple times, victory at the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2021 would be special.
“We want to take the Sudirman Cup to Indonesia… the trophy is named after Dr. Sudirman who is from Indonesia,” said Gideon, after he and Sukamuljo helped Indonesia cruise past NBFR in their opening Group C tie.
In fact, Indonesia haven’t won a major team event since the Thomas Cup in 2002 and Gideon is keenly aware of the significance of a team title.
“I think it’s a long time. At the Thomas Cup also it’s a long time since Indonesia won, that was in 2002. So every Indonesian player thinks the same as us. They want to bring back the trophy. I remember watching Indonesia bringing the Thomas Cup in 2002. It really motivates me and my teammates.”
Gideon believes Indonesia have the team to achieve the feat this time.
“I think we have the possibility to win. We are well prepared for this European Tour.”
For Olympic gold medallist Greysia Polii, the 2021 edition is likely to be her last shot at a major team title, something that’s missing in her otherwise glittering resume.
“We all want to get a title in the team event, because it’s different when you play individually and when you play for your team. It means you play for everybody. When the outcome is a win, everyone will feel the joy. So I think that’s the difference.”
“We got together with the team first, to be in the mindset that we come here as one team, we compete for each other and we want to win as a team. For me, I want to do my best to give a point in each tie. We don’t think we are the strongest or weakest, but whoever is our opponent, we have to be focused.
“Of course, as players we want to complete every big achievement, but we want to give our best first before we think too far ahead.”
Indonesia have arrived in Vantaa on the back of an encouraging show in Tokyo, where they won a gold and a bronze. Men’s singles spearhead Anthony Sinisuka Ginting is confident of keeping his momentum from Tokyo, but acknowledges that he will have to be careful not to dwell too much in the past.
“Of course it (Olympics) is still in our mind. It’s a matter of great pride for us. The Olympics is the No.1 motivating factor for every athlete. But after we trained again together for this Tour, we have to forget it and turn to ourselves again, to prepare well and run for this title.
“We want to bring the title back. It won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible. We have to try to enjoy every match. Anything can happen, no matter how many you win or lose before your match.
“I think the team is balanced. We trained together in Jakarta. I think I’m playing at a high level. I’m confident we will do our best.”
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